April 18th, 2008
04:20 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain camp calls Obama 'recklessly dishonest'

Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama.

Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama.

(CNN) - John McCain's campaign is crying foul over what it characterizes as repeated distortions from Barack Obama, saying on Friday the Illinois senator is "recklessly dishonest."

The most recent dustup comes after Obama criticized McCain earlier Friday for comments the Arizona senator made in an interview on Bloomberg Television.

"John McCain went on television and said that there has been quote "great progress economically over the last seven and a half years," Obama told a Pennsylvania crowd. "John McCain thinks our economy has made great progress under George W. Bush. Now, how could somebody who has been traveling across this country, somebody who came to Erie, PA, say we've made great progress?”

The McCain campaign immediately took issue with the comment, noting the Arizona senator also said he knows families are facing "tremendous economic challenges."

“American families are hurting and Barack Obama is being recklessly dishonest," McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said. "It is clear that Barack Obama is intentionally twisting John McCain’s words completely out of context. Obama is guilty of deliberately distorting John McCain’s comments for pure political gain, which is exactly what Senator Obama was complaining about just yesterday."

The McCain campaign has long argued Obama has a habit of twisting the presumptive Republican nominee's words. Referencing McCain's comments earlier this year when he said he'd be okay with some troop presence in Iraq for 100 years, Obama has said the Arizona senator "wants to continue a war in Iraq perhaps as long as 100 years."

The non-partisan factcheck.org later called that characterization a "rank falsehood."

Obama has since dialed back from that characterization, saying Friday that McCain is "willing to potentially maintain the troop presence there for as long as 100 years."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (479 Responses)
  1. That Jay guy from up Canada


    This means that we have a presumptive democratic nominee !

    And oh yeah, Robert Reich just endorsed Mr Obama...

    G08ama !

    April 18, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  2. Edwards

    He did not twist any words...MCCANE you said that the ecoonmy has made progress over the last 7 years...that is not twisting.....Mccane you twisted Obama's words calling him an ellistist...now that is twisting and false name calling for some one like Obama who through his life has depended on student loans, grew up with a single mother, just finished paying his loans for the house....Obama know the pain people go through because he was not born IN A RICH FAMILY.......NOT MARRIED millionaire.

    yes we can ...Go Obama

    April 18, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. Stacy Clarks, TX





    April 18, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. Doug

    Really? McWar is so reckless that half of the time he doesn't even know what words are coming out of his own mouth. ...and what's more reckless than voting to go to war in Iraq even when the top secret intelligence reports and the flimsy evidence contained therein were available to read ahead of time?

    April 18, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. D Williams

    John, you are going to get CRUSHED in the general election!!

    Get your tissue paper ready for all the whining and crying you have already started with!!!

    No more WARS!!!!!

    April 18, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. Nat

    Ok so Obama says:
    "John McCain went on television and said that there has been quote "great progress economically over the last seven and a half years"

    Admittedly, here's what actually happened:
    When asked if he believed Americans were better off now than when President Bush took office, Mr. McCain conceded that people were facing “very challenging times.” But he went on to say, “You could make an argument that there’s been GREAT PROGRESS ECONOMICALLY OVER THAT PERIOD OF TIME.” “But that’s no comfort. That’s not comfort to families now that are facing these tremendous economic challenges.”

    So, where does the "reckless dishonesty" come in? It sounds like it was right out of the horse's mouth to me...

    Just b/c he said that's no comfort to struggling families doesn't mean he didn't say there has been great economic progress during the Bush years...go away McCain!

    Democrat '08

    April 18, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. Honest

    McCain is the dishonest one. He flip flops on issues to suit him well...immigration, tax cuts, economy and you name it.

    April 18, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. SueB

    McCain is clueless where the economy is concerned and as to how most Americans feel about Iraq. I also think this shows that Obama will not let the republicans get away with the things he lets Clinton get away with (not calling her on her sniper-lies during the last debate, etc.). I think he's holding back against Clinton for the sake of the democratic party. The superdelegates know that the republicans wouldn't hold back against Clinton and they've been planning their campaign against her for the past 7 years. That's why McCain keeps hitting Obama. He wants Clinton to get the nomination.

    April 18, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  9. chris

    McCain – if he didn't twist your words, then can you please let the public know your exit strategy??

    McCain – if he didn't twist your words, can you please explain what economical progress has been made over the last 7.5 yrs? (and btw, we're in a recession)

    April 18, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  10. Carl Sloan

    Does anyone else see the irony of McCain claiming Obama "mischaracterized" his statements by turning around and mischaracterizing Obama's statements?

    Besides that, I don't see how anyone could mischaracterize "great progress economically over the last seven and a half years". There's simply no way to spin that besides making an Ad hominem attack, which is just what McCain has chosen to do..,..

    April 18, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. ***AMERICAN***

    And so it begins. McCain is going after Obama because he knows he doesn't have to worry about Clinton.

    April 18, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  12. Doug R.

    Great grandpa McCain knows next to nothing about the economy or economics in general. If McCain really believes his words are being twisted why doesn't he openly state his positions on issues. He's incapable of doing this because he flip flops the truth each and every day. He has no positions on anything. He's an empty suit playing the victim card.

    April 18, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. Glen,

    What did you expect? He has being doing this to Hillary all through the primaries. The man has no shame, he is a typical politician pretending to be all about change. Yeah right. Even CNN has supported his spin and I thought you were pro-American but unbiased on national politics.

    April 18, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  14. Mark,MI

    I thought Obama was suppose to be a "change" from these kind of political attacks.... why am I not surprised. I don't care who you are or what you believe, stop distorting the truth just because you want to make yourself look better.

    April 18, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  15. lil

    I think Obama repeated it right Mccain just dont understand what he
    said because he forgot. Please play it back for him.

    April 18, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  16. Jesse

    Well, I'm not quite sure how this latest quote can be said to have been taken out of context. The quote creates it's own context and states, what McCain believes to be, a definitive fact. It was not taken out of context. The fact that McCain will say that the economy has made great strides yet that American families are hurting just shows that he'll straddle the fence in an attempt to "win" as many votes as possible.

    April 18, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. joe

    Mr. John McCain is a good man, I only disagree with his Iraq policy.. and also If Obama wasn't running I would have voted for him.

    April 18, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  18. Len

    A liberals lie. lol

    McCain 08

    April 18, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  19. Uncle Sam

    In a recent interview with Sen. Joe Biden, he stated that he knows John McCain and that John hates war and would do everything he could to get us out as soon as possible.

    Americans for McCain '08

    April 18, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  20. FRED Atlanta, GA

    Seems MCLAME needs to make up his mind he can't have it both ways either he sees economic progress or he sees tremendous economic challeges for some families or maybe he's saying economically he and his family sees progress but the rest of US have tremendous economic challenges.

    April 18, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  21. Dexter

    Jeremy, PA, buddy, you gotta give it a rest.

    Seriously, Hillary is not going to be the nominee. She lost her chance through her arrogance and bad managment and dishonesty. I'm sorry, but it's true. I'm not a big Obama supporer, but I am when it comes to beating the Republicans in November.

    As upsetting as this nomination process has been for both Hillary and Obama supporters, we can't lose sight of who we're really against. Bush and McCain and their band of criminals are flat out evil.

    To throw a temper tantrum and vote for McCain because your preferred candidate didn't get the nomination is not only immature and selfish, but it's irresponsible.

    I only hope all Democrats can grow up before November.

    April 18, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. Pam

    Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. Enough said. Go home McCain.

    April 18, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. Alex H

    Hey, CNN, how about you report a WHOLE STORY!

    You just told us absolutely nothing except that there's bickering! How about you give us the exact quote McCain said instead of a quote of Obama quoting McCain! You made Obama sound like a liar without giving any information that supports or refutes that he is other than a McCain statement saying that he is and also making McCain sound like a contradiction (economy is good… family's are going through economic challenges… which is it?). How about you give us the facts and the quotes to support or refute something said by a campaign instead of statements that mean NOTHING! You have the capabilities and therefore the responsibilities to report a story in its fullest. HOW ABOUT YOU DO YOUR JOB!!!

    April 18, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. I have spoken

    McCain is physically and mentally inept. Period.

    April 18, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  25. Earl R.

    Obama only wants to bring about change in DC because he does not know and is too inexperienced to know how politics in the national level works.

    April 18, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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